Stuart Hall and Cultural Studies, circa 1983

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Ann Curthoys
John Docker


Stuart Hall sought to internationalise theoretical debates and to create Cultural Studies as interdisciplinary. We chart his theoretical journey through a detailed examination of a series of lectures delivered in 1983 and now published for the first time. In these lectures, he discusses theorists such as E.P. Thompson, Raymond Williams, Louis Althusser, Levi Strauss and Antonio Gramsci, and explores the relationship between ideas and social structure, the specificities of class and race, and the legacies of slavery. We note his turn towards metaphors of divergence and dispersal and highlight how autobiographical and deeply personal Hall is in these lectures, especially in his ego histoire moment of traumatic memory recovery.

Article Details

Review Essay (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biographies

Ann Curthoys, University of Western Australia

Ann Curthoys works on Australian history in a transnational and imperial frame, and on historical theory and writing. In press with Cambridge University Press is Ann Curthoys and Jessie Mitchell, 'Taking Liberty: Indigenous Rights and Settler Self-Government in the Australian Colonies, 1830 – 1890'. She is currently writing a history of Paul Robeson’s tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1960, and (in association with colleagues at University College, London, and Monash University) researching some of the legacies in Australia of British slave ownership.

John Docker, University of Western Australia

John Docker is a literary and cultural critic whose books include 'Postmodernism and Popular Culture: A Cultural History' (1994) and 'The Origins of Violence' (2008). He has published essays on the entwined relationship between genocide and settler colonialism, and is writing an ego-histoire, 'Growing Up Communist and Jewish in Bondi'.


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